The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gary Reynolds, Mar 17, 2017.
“Warning: Bad Ass Dog On Duty”
That’s a good one
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In the years of taking color movies at Lions Dragstrip, there was always the battle to make sure the film was taken without any intrusions or blockages. (like someone leaning over to get a better view of the racers, etc.) Luckily, the designated dragstrip had plenty of seating on both the spectator side and as the years went by, the tower side bleachers grew to capacity. In the early days, there were only spectator’s seating bleachers, but to expand and keep the paying customers happy, more bleachers were added to the orange tower side for a different view of the action.
If I sat in the bleachers, I had to make sure I was not blocking someone’s view as the race cars moved away from the starting line. Even though my movie camera was “smallish” in size, I still had to hold it up to my eye and move with the action. So, as the crowds grew, I had to seek out alternatives to get the best shot.
I even moved down and away from the spectator’s bleachers to get a panorama view of the action. That was the easiest and most fun as there was no one to bother me when taking the films. I even used my dad’s tripod to get the shake free filming as the racers came down the track.
Pick Koenig FED
The only problem, besides being silent films was that the lens was fixed and not very powerful. This caused the action to be far away and the race cars obviously were smaller than if I were up in the spectator’s bleachers near the starting line. There are trade-offs to everything.
What was the most exciting spot for taking my drag racing films? Across the dragstrip from the spectator’s side bleachers and not having a chain link fence in front of me. But, wait, that puts me on the other side of the orange tower where the white Pontiac ambulance was always parked. Yes, that was the secret spot that would be good for maybe 15-20 minutes.
The shots were easier as it was a good background and closer to the action. (I did this enough, to time when the security guard would come by and yell at me to get back to the bleachers.) I went over there plenty of times and actually struck up a friendship with Mr. Childers, the ambulance driver from Dilday Mortuary. We became friends from the talks during the break in the action.
Note: When my brother was in the accident and the ambulance took him to the hospital, Mr. Childers told me that he would stay at the hospital to keep tabs, until my parents and I came back to the emergency department.
The action filming from that tower side was not always available, as 90% of the professional photographers were in front of the spectators next to the actual dragstrip. Their camera equipment allowed them to be level, but far enough away to get great shots at the start.
I did not want to have the same angle of shots as everyone else, so I did move to the other side of the tower for my “secret” location shots when the action called for it.
The very last time I ventured over to that towerside/ambulance location was in 1964 when I wanted close up shots of my friend, Atts Ono’s debut during the All Gas Coupe and Sedan meet in 1964. It was so crowded that I tried taking some films from the spectator’s side, but was told to sit down by others. The pros were inside of the fence at their prime location.
So, I was able to sit with my friend, Mr. Childers… and wait until Atts Ono’s red Willys was ready continue racing. Just when one of the final races for B/Gas was taking place, the guard came up behind me and yelled, scaring the cra#@ out of me. Then, he proceeded to tell me to get back to the pits, or he would throw me out.
Mr. Childers, Dilday Ambulance Services
So much for my last filming day at Lions. The film shows a jerky time when that idiot guard surprised me.
debut 1964 Lions Dragstrip
Do The Photos Need To Be Out Of Focus To Be Artsy?...Just Curious...
Oil pump 28 from a barn find engine,,
A digital frame by frame editing, caused a double exposure.
A week ago, I was looking through my old films for some shots to use for a story on 1960 drag racing. Editing digital files sometimes brings unusual frames at the end of any film or ones that were spliced together. Sure, there are some clips with the famous film reel holes, but that can’t be helped. So, in the 1960 files, of course, the main file was Tommy Ivo’s Twin that was just created in late 1959 and raced almost weekly in 1960 in So Cal.
Tommy Ivo 1959-60
The first twin racing was seen at the 1959 Riverside Raceway’s huge meet versus all comers from the East and South. They were getting the bugs out and in a red/black paint mode.
Ivo at Riverside Raceway 1959 Valley Home Service vs Ivo Twin at :11
Then, as history has told us, he and Don Prudhomme went on a cross country road trip to start the whole touring thing for the big time, big name drag racers, first from So Cal, then from all over. They were getting paid to tour and show up at various drag strips in the USA.
We have admired his race cars from the first time he and his friends rolled into the Lions Dragstrips pits. They were like show cars that we saw at the local arena car shows. But they did win a lot of races and trophies during the time from a Hilborn injected, single Buick, to a 671 Buick to the twin Hilborn injected Buick motors in his arsenal of FEDs.
Artwork by Fritz 1960
And a couple more...
"We have admired his race cars from the first time he and his friends rolled into the Lions Dragstrips pits. They were like show cars that we saw at the local arena car shows. But they did win a lot of races and trophies during the time from a Hilborn injected, single Buick, to a 671 Buick to the twin Hilborn injected Buick motors in his arsenal of FEDs."
Having seen and admired the Tommy Ivo hot rods and race cars, the progression to the twin in 1959 was interspersed with some interesting facts. The single was very cool, the single with the supercharger was the next step, but the last change in 59-60 was the twin (with and without the single blower)which impressed everyone.
A couple of interesting Tommy Ivo facts when moving on to the Twin in 1959...
The blown Buick was completely different engine, more cubic inches when Ivo sold the single Buick to Prudhomme the blown engine was already sitting in Tony Nancy's Roadster.
Don Prudhomme Buick FED
Splitting huh? What are you? Bananas?
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Pendine Beach, 2013.
A few from my current Hot Rod Showdown 2020 thread. https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/photos-from-the-unique-2020-hot-rod-showdown.1186390/
Quickie iPhone pic... early morning in Tucson after the big storm, Kontinentals en route from Austin to GNRS back in January.
One I kinda liked.
Stay safe !
Per, you're flying low again
Yes Carsten, low n slow as usually.
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